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Everyone agrees. All sing Kumbaya together. Good for them, but boring cinema.


Someone like Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code can make the formation of the canon seem like an exciting tale of deceit, intrigue, and conspiracy, but the reality is a whole lot more…well, boring. The formation of the Old Testament canon is kind of boring at one level. This has been challenged in recent centuries. Some scholars assert the whole council is mythical and dismiss the narrative. But in one sense the story is even more ho-hum than the old Jamnia narrative.

The reality is that the Hebrew scriptures had a fixed canon long before 90 AD. The Hebrew Canon was identical to our Protestant Bibles, only different. It was the same in that it included the same books, but it was different in that those same books were organized quite a bit differently.

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There were 24 books in the Hebrew Canon our OT has 39 , but they are the same books. How can this be?

Week Twenty-five, Day Four

Well, in the Hebrew canon a lot of our firsts and seconds are counted as one book. Likewise Samuel and Chronicles. Ezra and Nehemiah form one book as well. That explains 4 books, but what about the other 11 missing books?

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  • The Order differs as well, beginning in a familiar way but ending very differently. These concluding words are likewise an addition, namely a later interpretation of , saying that the anonymous "messenger" is Elijah. Nonetheless, the addition shares with the body of the book its deuteronomic orientation: the book evidently regards the entire tribe of Levi as priestly, the closing appeal names Horeb instead of Sinai as the mount of revelation.

    These facts favor an early rather than a late post-Exilic date. Other features bear this out. Like Haggai and Zechariah 1—8, the Book of Malachi is an expression of the changed outlook of prophecy in post-Exilic times. The topics noted above clearly relate the book to the post-Exilic period, when the Temple had been rebuilt ; , 10 , the province of Judea was ruled by a representative of the Persian government , and there had been time enough for the loss of earlier religious enthusiasm.

    The three main abuses attacked in the text are the degeneracy of the priesthood — , intermarriage with foreign women , and the people's remissness in the payment of tithes The independent character of Malachi's attack against divorcing Jewish wives in order to marry foreign women Mal.

    Journey of a Lifetime - Lesson 23 (Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi)

    This earlier date is made still more likely if the reproach against mixed marriages in Malachi b is a later insertion, one which precisely reflects the preoccupations of the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. The time of Ezra's activity, unfortunately, is uncertain. Following A. Mowinckel, above all, many scholars have assumed that Ezra was not active under Artaxerxes i in b.

    Ezra The problems of mixed marriages and unpaid tithes, however, existed also in the time of Nehemiah Neh. The insertion of Malachi b—13a may thus date from that period, and it may reasonably be inferred, therefore, that the original Book of Malachi dates prior to the age of Nehemiah and Ezra. In fact, most modern scholars agree that the prophet prepares the way for the work of those reformers.

    There is no evidence of sufficient strength to substantiate a later date. The assumptions of H. Winckler Altorientalische Forschungen , 2 , ff. Holtzmann arw, 29 , 1—21 , who date the book to the first half of the second century b. The opinion of A. The period of Nehemiah's absence at the Persian court in approximately b. One of the chief duties of the priest was still the proclamation of the Oral Law Mal. In fact, the prophet seems to be influenced by earlier deuteronomistic theories concerning the priests; at the same time, it is doubtful whether he knew the Priestly Code regulations on tithes found in Numbers —32, where the tithe is designated in its entirety for the maintenance of the levites whereas, according to deuteronomic legislation Deut.

    It appears that the Priestly Code, in its present form, is not presupposed by the Book of Malachi. An earlier date for the composition of Malachi is also suggested by the allusion to the destruction of Edom in Malachi —4. The Arab invasion of this Transjordanian kingdom cannot be dated with precision, but Edom was apparently entirely taken over by Arab tribes toward the end of the sixth century b. Since the remaining Edomites still expected a restoration of their ruined country , approximately b.

    Welch even thought that the book dated from the age of the prophet Haggai b.

    The bad harvests and locust plagues alluded to in would then reflect the same situation as in Haggai , 9—11; — However, the existence of the Temple as implied by Malachi indicates a somewhat later date. All things considered, it may reasonably be assumed that the book dates from approximately b.

    The work reflects the various currents of thought and modes of life in the Jerusalem of about b.

    Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

    The situation in Judea was one of depression and discontent. The expectations which earlier prophets had aroused had not been fulfilled. The return from Babylon had brought with it none of the ideal glories promised by Deutero-Isaiah. The completion of the Second Temple b.

    In view of these conditions, the message of Malachi is to reassert the true relation of the people to their God, and to recall the nation to religious and moral earnestness, especially in regard to questions of ritual and marriage. Yet the author is no formalist. Ritual observances are of value in his eyes only as expressions of spiritual service; for example, he supposes that God does not accept offerings presented by disloyal husbands b— Moral and social offenses are fiercely condemned by the prophet , and from the concept of the brotherhood of all Jews under one Father , he deduces the duties which they have toward each other, and the wrongfulness of the selfish practice of divorce prevalent in his day — The Book of Malachi is a significant landmark in the religious history of Israel.

    Despite its emphasis on the observance of ritual, it shows genuine prophetic spirit. The denunciation also involves a protest against the influences of foreign marriages, the prohibition of which was to be made effective, at least in Yehud, by the reforms of Nehemiah and Ezra. The influence of the closing words of the book —24 on later messianic expectation is apparent in the Jewish post-biblical literature Ecclus. The author of Malachi was considered the last of the prophets, along with Haggai and Zechariah. Upon their death, the spirit of prophecy departed from Israel Yoma 9b.

    Malachi was identified with Ezra by R. Joshua b. The sages, however, declared that Malachi was his proper name Meg. Targum Jonathan to the words "by Malachi" added the gloss "who is known by the name of Ezra the scribe. Joshua validated this viewpoint by explaining the references in Malachi to the "daughter of a strange god" as identical with the "foreign women" described by Ezra ; Meg. Malachi was a member of the Great Synagogue, and traditions were later reported in his name cf.

    Nowack, Die kleinen Propheten 3 ; S. Sperry, in: The Interpreter's Bible , 6 ; D. Jones, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.


    Introduction and Commentary ; E. Kraeling, Commentary on the Prophets , 2 Budde, in: zaw, 26 , 1—18; O. Holtzmann, in: arw, 29 , 1—21; A. Welch, Post-Exilic Judaism , —25; A. Pautrel, in: dbi suppl. Boecker, in: zaw, 78 , 78—80; L.

    Margalit, in: Kahana ed. Smith, Micah-Malachi Word; , —; B. Jones, Book of the Twelve ; A. Hill, in: abd, —85; idem, Malachi ab; , incl. Sperling, The Original Torah , 61—74; J. O'Brien, in: dbi, — Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

    Lipinski, Edward; Sperling, S. November 18, Retrieved November 18, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. The last of the 12 minor prophets. The original title, therefore, seems to have been simply "an oracle" or "a burden" Heb.